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The Influence of Probiotics on Symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Maintaining your emotional health during preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods is an important priority for us.  We consider all the options and incorporate them into the treatment plans of everyone we work with.

 

For us at Moon Mental Health, it is important to take a holistic view in your care – that is why we discuss spirituality, diet, exercise, self care, mindfulness, therapy options, and psychiatric medications to come up with the plan that will work best for you.

 

And we are always looking to provide solid, evidence-based guidance in whatever we recommend.  That is why papers such as this one are important to add to our arsenal of resources.

 

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 380 healthy women were randomized to receive probiotics (specifically Lactobacillus rhamnosus) or a placebo. Women were started between 14-16 weeks gestation, and continued with the intervention up to 6 months after delivery if they were breastfeeding.

 

Although depression and anxiety symptoms were not the primary outcome in this study, it was found that women who were given probiotics had clinically significant decreases in symptoms of both depression and anxiety.

 

We already have abundant data that diet is good for your mood and helpful for depression and anxiety. And there is increasing information about the gut-brain connection to help us understand the complex and variety of factors involved in understanding how our bodies and minds are connected. Now here is another finding that may specifically point to the utility of probiotics in helping our mental health in pregnancy and postpartum periods!

 

As always, please discuss with your own doctor first, prior to any use of supplements, vitamins, probiotics, or other products.

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